This week’s Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State matchup could be a preview of next week’s Big 12 Conference Championship.
Both the Sooners and the Cowboys are tied for first place in the conference with 7-1 conference records. The Baylor Bears are closely behind with a 6-2 record, and if they win this weekend and Oklahoma State wins, then they will make the championship game.
If Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State, then both OU and OSU will meet next week in the conference championship game.
Both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have 10-1 overall records and are evenly matched, which is unusual. Typically the Sooners come into this game as a heavy favorite against their in-state rival. This season the Sooners have been favored in every game, until this week.
Here is my prediction for this week’s game, and my best bets.
Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State Prediction
The Oklahoma Sooners can be like a box of chocolates, you don’t know what you are going to get. Sometimes you get one of the best teams in the country, and other times you get a team limping to victory. Against Oklahoma State, they face their toughest opponents yet as it is their only game this season where they have been underdogs.
The Sooners may have a 10-1 record, but they are only 5-6 against the spread. Oklahoma reeled off decisive wins against TCU and Texas Tech, and impressive close wins against Texas and Iowa State. Unfortunately, Oklahoma also lost by 13 points to Baylor, and had slim victories against Kansas, Nebraska, West Virginia, and Tulane.
If we get the solid Sooners team they should top Oklahoma State.
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Oklahoma State, despite having an identical 10-1 record, offers a sharp contrast to Oklahoma. The Cowboys have covered the spread in every Big 12 conference game this season. Most notably, the point total has gone under in six of nine conference games. In my opinion, the point total going under is correlated with Oklahoma State winning or covering.
Usually in college football trends are truly random rather than being indicative of a tendency.
In the case of Oklahoma State, the trend is a signal that as fewer points are scored than expected, the Cowboys have a great defense that causes them to play better than expected.
The Cowboys allow only 14.8 points per game which is the second best in the FBS. Quietly, OSU allows fewer points per game than Penn State, Wisconsin, Texas A&M, Clemson, San Diego State, Cincinnati, and Iowa.
This will give OU’s occasionally explosive offense a tough test. The Sooners average 35.2 points per game which is the best in the Big 12 and the 19th best in the country. Since Oklahoma elevated freshman Caleb Williams to the starting quarterback role in the Texas game the team has improved offensively.
In addition to Williams playing well, the Sooners’ running backs have collectively had 200 or more rushing yards four of their last six games.
Oklahoma State only allows opposing quarterbacks to complete 57.1% of their passes which is the 25th best in the country, and the best in the Big 12. Further making matters worse for OU, OSU only allows 2.5 yards per carry which is the second best in the FBS. For Oklahoma to win, they must either break through Oklahoma State’s iron curtain on the ground, or Williams must have a big game.
Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State 2021 Prediction: Oklahoma 38, Oklahoma State 28
Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State 2021 Best Bets
Best Bet: Oklahoma Moneyline (+150) at Caesars Sportsbook would bet up to +120
Wager: 1 Unit
For Oklahoma to win, I believe that they must play their best game of the season. It is easy to not trust the Sooners after several embarrassingly close wins, but I believe that on Saturday we are going to see the best performance from OU this season.
Oklahoma State has a great defense, but I believe that stopping Caleb Williams and Oklahoma’s ground game will be too much. As a +150 underdog, the payout is surprisingly good, particularly for a strong Sooners team that is usually a heavy favorite.
Best Bet: Oklahoma Moneyline & OVER 51 Points (+377) at Caesars Sportsbook
Wager: 1 Unit
If Oklahoma wins, the total should go over. Many sportsbooks don’t allow for you to parlay the money line and the point total as if it were two separate independent events, but Caesars Sportsbook does. Typically, sportsbooks will lower the payout on a same game parlay as the events are correlated.
If the total goes over 51 points, it is likely because Oklahoma has solved Oklahoma State’s defense. If that happens, the Sooners are likely to win which makes the +377 payout too tough to resist.